Fly with JetBlue
JetBlue is an American budget airline and the 6th largest U.S. carrier by passenger numbers. Founded in 1998, JetBlue has a hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport, right next to its Long Island City headquarters, and focuses its marketing on the idea of running a "human" airline, which really connects with the passengers it serves.
The airline offers a dense route network, both within the mainland U.S.A., and abroad. In total, it operates at 99 destinations, with most routes traveling from one of its five U.S. bases: New York, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, Orlando, and Long Beach. It's a useful airline for traveling to the Caribbean, as it serves destinations like Barbados, Cuba, and Saint Lucia, and also offers trans-Atlantic connections to London.
JetBlue is not part of the Star Alliance, but it does operate code sharing agreements with 21 global airlines, allowing for seamless connections and shared air miles in some cases. It also runs a large fleet comprising over 260 aircraft, most of which are AirBus A320 or A321 models.
Since taking to the skies in the late 1990s, JetBlue has built a strong safety record (and is rated 7/7 for safety by AirlineRatings.com). It tends to do well on luggage handling and value for money, earning praise from industry experts SkyTrax, although it has had its critics in other areas, such as reliability and lateness.
Nevertheless, JetBlue remains extremely popular, flying over 40 million passengers per year. And it operates a popular frequent flyer scheme called TrueBlue, which allows passengers to earn points for flights, upgrades, and other perks.
JetBlue Travel Experience
JetBlue's fare options include: Blue Basic, Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Extra, and Mint. There's no division into Economy, Business, and First class. Instead, the seat pitch is fairly constant, ranging from 32-35 inches in most cases. So the actual physical travel experience of flying with JetBlue is relatively consistent.
Everyone on JetBlue flights benefits from free branded snacks (or larger EatUp snack boxes for longer flights). WiFi is available for all travelers, while generously sized displays offer up to date movies and TV, access to the DirectTV library and SiriusXM's radio stations.
JetBlue Blue Plus, Blue Extra and Mint Class
There are some differences between the fare classes when you travel with JetBlue, but they don't relate to the on-board experience. For example, Blue Extra and Mint travelers benefit from free cancelations and same day changes, earn more points for their TrueBlue account, and enjoy extras like priority boarding. Blue Plus and Mint also include 1-2 checked bags, although Blue Extra does not.
JetBlue Blue Basic and Blue Class
At the other end of the JetBlue scale, travelers have less flexibility about changing their plans. Supplementary fees also apply for arranging seats in advance, while Blue Basic cancelations mean that passengers forfeit the cost of their ticket, which doesn't apply with other classes. Additionally, Blue Basic and Blue fares do not include any checked luggage.
JetBlue doesn't maintain its own airport lounges, but that doesn't mean relaxing before flying is out of the question. The airline has struck partnerships with other airlines, entitling passengers to use their lounges, although lounge access is currently restricted to Kingston (KIN) and Montego Bay (MBJ) airports.
JetBlue Check-in & Baggage
Online check-in is possible via the JetBlue Mobile App, and will commence 24 hours prior to any JetBlue departure. Check-in also ends 40 minutes before domestic flights and 60 minutes before international flights leave.
Allowed Luggage per Cabin Class
Blue Plus and Mint Classes
Blue Plus passengers can check one free item of luggage, while Mint passengers can check two items or a weight of 50 lbs (22 kg). Above that point, oversized fees start to kick in.
Passengers can also take a single item of carry-on luggage and one "personal item". Size limits apply, but there is no maximum weight for carry-on items.
Blue Basic, Blue, and Blue Extra Classes
In Blue Basic, Blue, and Blue Extra classes, passengers are not allowed any free checked items, and any checked luggage will come with extra fees. The same size limits apply as for Blue Plus and Mint classes.
However, all passengers can take on a carry-on and a personal item. The maximum dimensions are the same as for other fare classes (see below).
Allowed Luggage Size Dimensions
Overall dimensions per checked-in item must not exceed 62-inches (157cm).
Carry-on items must not exceed dimensions of 22 x 14 x 9-inches (56 x 36 x 23cm). Personal items (to be stashed below seats) must not exceed 17 x 13 x 8-inches (43 x 33 x 20cm).
If hold items exceed the maximum weight, excess charges will apply, so it's important to weigh luggage before arriving at the airport. The airline operates special policies for sports gear, with a weight limit of 100 lbs (45 kg), and the potential for handling fees when larger items like surfboards or bikes are involved.
Lap infants qualify for free travel, so kids aged from 3 days to 2 years of age incur no fees. And those aged 5-14 may be able to travel as an unaccompanied minor if required.
In any case, travelers can become TrueBlue members (even child fliers). The points earned can be redeemed for flights, accommodation, magazine subscriptions - a whole host of benefits. So regular customers may well want to give it a try.